Progressive Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has branded the GOP “complicit” in President Donald Trump‘s efforts to undermine the election, as voters head to the polls at the end of the most vicious presidential race in modern history.
Ocasio-Cortez was responding to an article published by Politico suggesting that Republican lawmakers are privately horrified at Trump’s constant electoral agitation, spreading baseless conspiracy theories about voter fraud and demanding an unprecedented early end to ballot counting.
MSNBC anchor Katy Tur shared the article, adding: “Republicans publicly silent, privately disgusted by Trump’s election threats.” Ocasio-Cortez responded to the tweet, writing: “Publicly complicit*”.
The president has been laying the groundwork to challenge the election result for months, mostly by claiming that mail-in ballots—of which there are a record number due to fears of the spread of coronavirus pandemic at in-person polling stations—are untrustworthy and invalidate the election.
The president has made multiple comments suggesting he plans to challenge the election results as soon as they emerge, hinting he would like to send any result favoring challenger Joe Biden to the Supreme Court to which he has added three justices during his term.
The president has also whipped up fear and anger among his base, claiming the Democrats will try to steal the election through the counting of legitimate mail-in ballots.
According to Axios, Trump intends to muddy the waters further by claiming victory on election night if he appears ahead from in-person voting but while early votes—which are expected to favor Biden—are still being counted.
Politico’s story said no senior GOP lawmakers were willing to go on record over Trump’s election threats. But the website said “dozens” of anti-Trump GOP members on Capitol Hill or former White House officials were willing to speak on the condition of anonymity.
One senior Senate GOP aide said the president’s behavior was “despicable and un-American but not surprising…They have never had any respect for the institutions of democracy that don’t benefit them.”
“The beauty of federalism is that we leave it to the states to make their own rules and the idea that a president would overturn a state official’s decision to benefit them in an election is just kind of the antithesis of what Republicans used to believe in.”
A former senior administration official told Politico: “I just can’t believe that he would say anything like that. It’s crazy…A lot of people ask me, ‘If he loses the election, will he try to stay in power?’ I don’t see any way that’s going to be possible. I think once an election is declared valid, he’s not going to have any option.”